International trade of the babirusa is prohibited by their listing on Appendix I of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) (5). To date, approximately 12,000 km² of land on Sulawesi has been declared as wildlife protection areas and a further 20,000 km² await formal designation. While efforts are being made by the park services to educate local people and control animal poaching and logging, there is a chronic lack of financial resources in Indonesia as well as pressure from an expanding human population. Unfortunately the lack of up-to-date information on these species further restricts the effectiveness of any conservation measures at the local level (9) particularly most threatened forms from the smaller islands (7). Mainland babirusas have been bred in captivity very successfully, but most of the existing captive population is highly in-bred (7). Fortunately the Indonesian authorities and a proportion of the public consider the babirusa to be a species of particular interest and especially worthy of protection. It is frequently referred to in park staff training and conservation materials and even more recently, in children's books, which will hopefully raise the awareness needed for the protection of these extraordinary animals (9).
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